January 1, 2010
Products that highlight the promising partnership of haute couture and industrial design
It used to be that when a top fashion house paired with an outside designer, it was to create an over-the-top look for a flagship store. Think of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture’s lavish Prada store in New York, Toyo Ito’s glittering Tod’s boutique in Tokyo, or Peter Marino’s sumptuous Louis Vuitton flagship in Paris—each a glimmering monument to conspicuous consumption. But now fashion labels, both corporate and independent, are teaming up with design manufacturers to extend their brands beyond the traditional domain of clothing, perfume, and accessories. Paul Smith, for instance, has forged successful partnerships with such companies as Maharam and the Rug Company to create textiles and floor coverings, respectively, that brandish his distinctive prints. And Vivienne Westwood has lent her signature draped plaid to trompe l’oeil wallpaper by Cole & Son. Other collaborations include Diesel and Foscarini, Armani and the Molteni Group, and Proenza Schouler and KnollTextiles, to name a few. Interested in reading more about the intersection of haute couture and design? Pick up one of the bevy of fashion books hitting bookstores in the coming months—sure to be the coffee-table accessories of the season.